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Public health experts’ recommendations

The following are important pandemic-related recommendations from public health experts.

Vaccinations
Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the pandemic and helps schools safely continue in-person learning and extracurricular activities.

Masking
National, state and county health officials recommend indoor masking by all students, staff, teachers and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.  While masks are optional, staff and students need to make decisions based on their own needs and the circumstances (Ex: setting).

 Social Distance
National, state and county health experts recommend schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, when possible, to reduce transmission risk.

Layered Mitigation
Public health guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies to support in-person learning, including:

  • Testing
  • Ventilation
  • Hand washing and respiratory etiquette
  • Contact tracing for exposure to COVID-19 
  • Cleaning/disinfection 

COVID-19 Positive Individuals
Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, must be excluded from school for 5 to 10 days. 

Stay Home When Sick
Students, teachers and staff should stay home when they have signs of illness and seek medical testing and treatment when necessary. 

Monitoring Transmission
Communities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies such as physical distancing and testing.